Russian Federation 2018: Nigeria in same group with Argentina, Croatia, Iceland

Nura Sanda, a medical doctor, said Nigeria was lucky to be in the group.

While the South Americans did edge out the Africans 1-0 then, their three other World Cup meetings have all been nervy affairs won by a one-goal margin in 1994 (2-1), 2010 (1-0) and 2014 (3-2).

Coach Gernot Rohr has warned the Super Eagles to underrate any team and prepare harder for the 2018 World Cup tournament in Russian Federation.

"I can't wait to see the two sides clash again".

Iceland, the smallest nation ever to qualify for the World Cup, topped their group to make it to the finals, following up an impressive debut at Euro 2016 past year where they beat England at the quarter-final stage. "Now they will be looking to revenge the humiliation they suffered from Alex Iwobi's hands".

"I am happy that we are not going to play Brazil and Germany in the first round", he said.

"Even though the like of Croatia are not pushovers, boasting of players such as Perisic, Mandzukic, Modric and Rakitic". Hard group but we will take our chances.

Group B - Spain, Portugal, Morocco, and Iran. "I think in certain moments in qualifying we gave a glimpse of what we want but we need to use this time to obviously improve". "But our aim has to be to top the group", he said.

In Group H which has one of the african representatives (Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan) there is very 50-50 chance that Senegal will be one of the two teams that will successfully scale the qualification huddle in the group.

Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic acknowledged that Argentina would be favoured to win the group.

Despite having to face Messi, Nigeria striker Odion Ighalo was pleased to avoid the other giants of world football.

"Wow - what a draw!"

Sampaoli said: "These are rivals that are coming with few obligations and a lot of enthusiasm for a unique opportunity as the World Cup is".

Nigeria will take on Croatia on June 16 in Kaliningrad, before facing Iceland on June 22 in Volgograd and Argentina on June 26 in St. Petersburg.

There's more life than death in the 2018 FIFA World Cup groups.

  • Joey Payne